REFERENCE TITLE: school safety; plans; task force




State of Arizona

House of Representatives

Fifty-fourth Legislature

First Regular Session




HB 2597


Introduced by

Representatives Hernandez D: Biasiucci, Blackman, Blanc, Campbell, DeGrazia, Engel, Fillmore, Hernandez A, Longdon, Rodriguez, Shah, Toma, Udall, Senator Brophy McGee





amending Title 15, chapter 1, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding section 15-119; relating to school safety.





Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Title 15, chapter 1, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 15-119, to read:

START_STATUTE15-119.  Safe schools plans; models; task force; required posting

A.  Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, each school district shall adopt a safe schools plan to provide recognition, initial screening and responses to emotional or behavioral distress in students, including indicators of possible substance abuse, violence and youth suicide.

B.  Each school district shall annually provide the safe schools plan to all persons employed by the school district.

C.  At a minimum, each safe schools plan shall do all of the following:

1.  Identify possible training opportunities in recognition, screening and referral that may be available for school staff.

2.  Include efforts to use the expertise of current school staff who have been trained in recognition, screening and referral.

3.  Describe How staff should respond to suspicions, concerns or warning signs of emotional or behavioral distress in students.

4.  Identify and develop partnerships with community organizations and agencies for referral of students to health, mental health, substance abuse and social support services, including developing at least one memorandum of understanding between the school district and an APPROPRIATE entity in the community.

5.  Include protocols and procedures for communication with parents.

6.  Describe How staff should respond to a crisis situation in which a student is an imminent danger to that student or to other persons.

7.  Describe How the school district will provide support to students and staff after an incident of violence or youth suicide.

D.  The safe school plan developed pursuant to this section may be a separate plan or a component of a broader plan or policy.

E.  On or before February 1, 2020, The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall develop and post on the website of the department of education a model safe schools plan along with relevant resources and information to support school districts in developing and implementing a safe schools plan.

F.  The Superintendent of public instruction shall annually post on the website of the department of education a list of statewide resources, including community-based organizations, that provide support to youth who have been subjected to school-based discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying. The department shall also post a list of statewide resources for youth who have been affected by gangs, gun violence and psychological trauma caused by violence at home, at school and in the community. The superintendent of public instruction shall annually update the information prescribed in this subsection and shall annually post the updated INFORMATION. END_STATUTE

Sec. 2.  Safe schools plan task force; duties; report; delayed repeal

A.  The superintendent of public instruction shall establish a safe schools plan task force within the department of education to identify best practices, model programs and successful strategies for school districts to form partnerships with qualified health, mental health and social services agencies in the community to coordinate and improve support for youth in need.

B.  The task force shall:

1.  Identify and develop resource documents to be posted on the website of the department of education.

2.  Explore the potential use of advanced online youth emotional health and crisis response systems that have been developed for use in other states and countries.

3.   On or before December 1, 2022, submit a report to the governor, the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives that includes the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the task force.  The task force shall provide a copy of this report to the secretary of state.

C.  This section is repealed from and after December 31, 2022.